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A Mobile Learning Journey

Theme Song

PDF research summary

Introducing the Smartphone

First generation cellphones - e.g. Lethal Weapon.

Nokia NSeries smartphones:
Today's Smartphones1 - Fold
Today's Smartphones2 - iDrummer
Today's Smartphones3 - iBand
The iPhone

Introduction

Investigating the use of Wireless Mobile Devices (WMDs) and web 2.0 social software to facilitate social constructivist learning environments, bridging learning contexts, anywhere, anytime. Mobile learning, as defined in this research, involves the use of wireless enabled mobile digital devices (Wireless Mobile Devices or WMD’s) within and between pedagogically designed learning environments or contexts. Mlearning can support and enhance both the face to face and off campus teaching and learning contexts by using the mobile wireless devices as a means to leverage the potential of web 2.0 tools. The WMD’s wireless connectivity and data gathering abilities (e.g. photoblogging, video recording, voice recording, and text input) allow for bridging the on and off campus learning contexts – facilitating “real world learning”. It is the potential for mobile learning to bridge pedagogically designed learning contexts, facilitate learner generated contexts, and content (both personal and collaborative), while providing personalisation and ubiquitous social connectedness, that sets it apart from more traditional learning environments. From an activity theory perspective, WMD’s are the tools that mediate a wide range of learning activities and facilitate collaborative learning environments (Uden, 2007). However, the use of Wireless Mobile Devices (WMDs) as part of the teaching and learning environment requires changes in pedagogy and integration into the teaching and learning processes.

Interactive Concept Map

Research Overview

Prezi Overview

Roger's Introduction Video

2009 Mobile Project Timeline

Deliverable Timeframe Outcome
mLearning projects with Bachelor Product Design (4 staff, 54 students), Diploma Landscape Design (2 staff, 25 students), Dip Contemporary Music (1 staff, 15 students) Semester 1 2009 mLearning champions, present staff stories at mini symposium mid semester1
Establish weekly COP with (8-10) lecturers from Faculty of Creative Industries. Establish support requirements (with ITSC and Vodafone) Second half Semester 1 2009 Staff develop competency with mlearning. Staff develop pedagogical mlearning activities based on social constructivist pedagogies
mLearning projects with staff and students from Faculty of Creative Studies (8-10 staff, 150 students). Implementation of the mlearning activities within each course and assessment. Second Semester 2009 Increased student engagement. Flexible delivery. Facilitating social constructivist pedagogies and bridging learning contexts.
Staff publish and present case studies based on project implementation End of Semester 2 2009 and Semester 1 2010 Conference, Journal publications and symposia presentations
Institutional strategy 2010 A new approach to enabling learning and teaching.

Participant (Lecturers) requirements:

  1. Participation in a weekly Community Of Practice.
  2. Personalised integration of mobile web 2.0 technologies.
  3. Development of mlearning activities based on social constructivist pedagogy for implementation with students.
  4. Implement a semester-long mlearning project with students.
  5. Publish a research output based on the project, e.g. cas study paper at a conference, or in a journal, or presentation at a symposium to other staff.
  6. Ethics consent for researchers anonymous use of data.

Design Framework

The design framework for each of the projects is shown in table 2. This framework was developed iteratively over the life of the research, which began in 2006 with two test projects that informed the practical implementation of the subsequent projects in 2007 to 2009. The framework table format is based loosely on that suggested by Sharples et al (Sharples, et al., 2009), emphasizing that the starting point of the design process is the learning practice and chosen pedagogical framework, which then informs the appropriate choice of mediating technologies.

Table2. MLearning project design framework

Learning Practice Mediating Circumstances
Social Constructivism Context Technology Agent
Lecturer Community of Practice Lecturer professional development, pedagogical brainstorming *Face to face *Scaffolded using LMS *Smartphone *Web 2.0 services Lecturers as peers, with researcher as technology steward
Student and lecturer Community of Practice Pedagogical integration and technical support *Face to face *Scaffolded using LMS *Smartphone *Web 2.0 services Students as peers, Lecturer as guide and pedagogical modeler, with the researcher as technology steward
Collaboration Group projects Social networking, Collaborative documents Google Docs, student peers
Sharing Peer commenting and critique Web 2.0 media sites, eportfolio creation RSS, student peers, lecturer
Student content creation Student individual and group projects Smartphone with camera and microphone, content uploaded to web 2.0 sites Student and peers
Reflective Journal of learning and processes, recording critical incidents Web 2.0 hosted Blog Personal appropriation, formative feedback from lecturer
Learning Context Bridging Linking formal and informal learning Smartphone used as communications tool and content capturing Student interacting with context, peers, and lecturers

Smartphone Affordances

Mobiles in Africa

Table 3 Affordances of smartphones mapped to social constructivist activities.

Activity Overview Examples Pedagogy
Video Streaming Record and share live events Flixwagon, Qik http://www.qik.com Livestream Real-time Event, data and resource capturing and collaboration.
Geo tagging Geo-tagg original photos, geolocate events on Google Maps Flickr, Twitter, Google Maps Enable rich data sharing.
Micro-blogging Post short updates and collaborate using micro-blogging services Twitter Asynchronous communication, collaboration and support.
Txt notifications Course notices and support Txttools plugin for Moodle and Blackboard
txt and twitter polls
Polleverywhere
Polldaddy
Twtpoll
Scaffolding, learning and administrative support
Direct screen sharing Video out to video projector, pico projector or large screen TV Microvision Show Student presentations, peer and lecturer critique.
Social Networking Collaborate in groups using social networking tools Vox groups, Ning, peer and lecturer comments on Blog and media posts http://tinyurl.com/4uz6rj Formative peer and lecturer feedback.
Mobile Codes 2D Codes scanned by cameraphone to reveal URL, text etc… QR Codes, Datamatrix 2D Codes http://tinyurl.com/af2u6d, QR Code Readers Software, Short URL QR Code Generator Situated Learning – providing context linking
Enhanced Student PODCasts Remote recording of audio, tagged with GPS and images etc… AudioBoo Situated and collaborative Learning – providing context linking
Augmented Reality Overlaying the real world with digital information Wikitude Situated Learning and Metacognition


Student MLearning Scenarios

Student Comment's

My smart phone is just so incredible...

The N97 so far

N97 Rollout

It's a mini laptop!

Smartphone Rubric

Student cellphones

Lecturer cellphones

Steve Litchfield Smartphone Selector

Affordances (Ranked 0 (NA), 1 poor, 2 good, 3 excellent):


  1. Image capture
  2. Video capture
  3. Video streaming
  4. Mobile Web
  5. Text entry for mobile blogging and email
  6. GPS for geotagging and geolocation services
  7. Touch screen for ease of navigation
  8. Third party applications
  9. Ease of use (User Interface)
  10. 3G Data connection speed
  11. WiFi for free internet access at Unitec
  12. Cost of the device
  13. Current availability of device in New Zealand
  14. Screen size
  15. Screen and video out for connection to TV or projector
  16. Portability (Size, weight, is a separate folding bluetooth keyboard required?)

Table 4: Rubric for ranking the affordances of example smartphones for mobile web 2.0.

Smartphone
Affordance iPhone 3G G2 Android Palm Pre N97 E90 N95 + kbd XM5800 P1i iPhone 3GS
1. Image Capture 1 2 2 3 2 3 2 2 2
2. Video Capture 1 1 2 3 3 3 3 1 2
3. Video streaming 1 1 2 3 3 3 3 1 1
4. Mobile Web experience 3 3 3 2 2 1 2 1 3
5. Text entry 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 3
6. GPS 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 0 3
7. Touch screen 3 3 3 3 0 0 2 2 3
8. Application availability 3 2 2 2 3 3 2 1 3
9. Ease of User Interface 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 1 3
10. 3G 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 1 3
11. WiFi 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
12. Cost 3 1 2 1 1 3 2 3 2
13. Availability in NZ 3 1 1 3 3 3 1 3 3
14. Screen size 3 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 3
15. Video Out 2 3 3 3 0 3 3 0 2
16. Portability – size, weight 3 2 2 2 1 1 3 3 3
Score 40 38 40 42 35 37 38 25 42

2009 Project Outlines

“''The intrinsic nature of mobile technologies is to offer digitally-facilitated site-specific learning, which is motivating because of the degree of ownership and control.''” (Laurillard, 2007, p. 157).

Bachelor of Product Design

Year Three



Course: Bachelor of Product Design, third year class
Participants
  • 24 students
  • 2 Course Lecturers
  • Technology Steward (Thom Cochrane - CTLI)
Mobile Technology Nokia N95 WiFi smartphone (to be upgraded to N97 in Semester2), Bluetooth folding keyboard, participants responsible for 3G data, voice & txt.
Pedagogical Focus The third year course is based around a Studio Design model where students undertake three design projects throughout the year, one of which is substantial. The project involves documenting the research and design of these products throughout the year, including working with a client company in small design teams. The first project is a collaborative project with UATI and Landscape Design students. The mobile web 2.0 technology will also be used to establish a weekly 'nomadic' studio session with staff and students focusing on context bridging and full intergration of moblogging into course projects.
Community of Practice Weekly throughout the entire course
Support LMS Moodle
Deliverables An assessed online Blog/eportfolio documenting and showcasing students' design processes and forming the basis of a collaborative hub with worldwide peers and potential employers/clients. And the weekly use of instant messaging, microblogging, and VODCasts during the 'nomadic' studio session.
Timeframe March 2009 through to November 2009.
YouTube Links * Third Year COP
* Semester1 Project Overview
Blog Links * Shac09 Ning Social Network
* Lecturer Vox Blog /
Course Project Outlines
  1. Shac09 Project Brief
  2. The Shac09 project and the "Nomadic Studio"
  3. NPC Project Semester2


Year Two



Course: Bachelor of Product Design, second year class
Participants
  • 15 students
  • 1 Course Lecturers
  • Technology Steward (Thom Cochrane - CTLI)
Mobile Technology Nokia XpressMusic 5800 WiFi smartphone, participants responsible for 3G data, voice and txt costs.
Pedagogical Focus Building on the students’ first year mobile web 2.0 experience, integrating moblogging, social networking, and student-generated content into the course, facilitating collaboration and peer critique.
Community of Practice Weekly throughout the second semester, during students lunch hour.
Support LMS Moodle
Deliverables An assessed online Blog/eportfolio documenting and showcasing students’ design processes and forming the basis of collaborative critique and show-casing with worldwide peers and potential employers/clients. Ning is used as a teacher-facilitated collaborative hub for all the projects. Second semester projects focused on sharing and critiquing projects using Google Docs and Vox Group blogs, using the smartphone to capture and share project progress and presentations.
Timeframe March 2009 through to November 2009.
Video Links *Introductory project COP *Semester2 Group Blog video presentations
Blog Links *Gown Project Ning Social Network *Semester2 Group Blog *Semester2 Group Blog2 /
Course Project Outlines
  1. Gown Design Project
  2. Manufacturing Technology Project
  3. CAD Project


Year One



Course: Bachelor of Product Design, first year class
Participants
  • 15 students – The average age of the students was 25 (19 to 39), and the gender mix was 4 female student and 11 male students.
  • 2 Course Lecturers
  • Technology Steward (Thom Cochrane - CTLI)
Mobile Technology Semester1: Dell Mini9 3G netbook. Semester2: Nokia XpressMusic 5800 WiFi smartphone, participants responsible for 3G data, voice and txt costs.
Pedagogical Focus Integrating blogging, followed by moblogging into the course. Scaffolding the introduction of web 2.0 and mobile web 2.0 tools into the students learning experience to facilitate the beginnings of their online eportfolio and introduction to the educational use of social networking for collaboration.
Community of Practice Weekly throughout the entire course
Support LMS Moodle
Deliverables An assessed online Blog/eportfolio documenting and showcasing students’ design processes and forming the basis of the beginnings of a collaborative hub with worldwide peers and potential employers/clients.
Timeframe April 2009 through to November 2009.
YouTube Links *Introduction of First Year Project
*First Year initial smartphone reflections
Blog Links *Example student blog Group
*Example student blog Group
*Example student blog Group
*Example student blog Group
*Example student blog Group
Course Project Outlines
  1. Project One - Trowel Ergonomics
  2. PIC2 Project1
  3. PIC2 Project2
  4. Cork Wars

Diploma of Landscape Design



Course: Diploma of Landscape Design, second year class
Participants
  • 20 students
  • 2 Course Lecturers
  • Technology Steward (Thom Cochrane - CTLI)
Mobile Technology Semester1: Dell Mini9 3G netbook, Semester2: Three students elected to additionally use the Nokia XpressMusic 5800 WiFi smartphone, participants responsible for 3G data, voice and txt costs.
Pedagogical Focus A collaborative project with UATI, Product Design and Landscape Design students. Production of a reflective design process blog and eportfolio using Ning. The social networking features of Ning were also used to establish communication, collaboration, and sharing between the three groups of staff and students. Semester 2: A group design project facilitated using Ning social network. Mobile focus on documenting a Flowershow team design and build project.
Community of Practice Weekly throughout the entire course
Support LMS Moodle
Deliverables An assessed online Blog/eportfolio documenting and showcasing students’ design processes and forming the basis of a collaborative hub with worldwide peers and potential employers/clients.
Timeframe March 2009 through to November 2009.
Video Links *Community Of Practice
*Project Introduction
*Lecturer1 Reflections
Blog Links *http://shac09.ning.com/
*http://poolblog.ning.com/
Course Project Outlines
  1. Shac09 Project Outline
  2. Pool Design Project Ning

Diploma of Contemporary Music



Course: Diploma of Contemporary Music 5011 and 4006 Courses
Participants
  • 24 students
  • 2 Course Lecturers
  • Technology Steward (Thom Cochrane - CTLI)
Mobile Technology 12 students using iPhone, participants responsible for 3G data, voice & txt costs. 12 students using iPod Touch – during Semester2.
Pedagogical Focus 1. (5011) An investigation of the current and future uses of web 2.0 technologies in music production and distribution. Students research and report on various technologies using a weekly podcast/vodcast that is peer critiqued by the other students ion the course. 2. (4006) Recording and critique of student performances.
Community of Practice Weekly throughout the entire course
Support LMS Blackboard
Deliverables An assessed online Blog/eportfolio documenting and showcasing students’ design processes and forming the basis of a collaborative hub with worldwide peers and potential employers/clients. And the weekly use of instant messaging, microblogging, and VODCasts.
Timeframe March 2009 through to November 2009.
YouTube Links *Project Summary
*Lecturer2 Reflections
*Student Reflections
Blog Links *Course Tutorial Wiki
*Example student Blog
*Example student AudioBoo
*Example student Group Blog http://groupb.groups.vox.com/
Course Project Outlines
  1. Environmental Recording Assignment
  2. MySpace Assignment
  3. 4006 Performance Groups

Bachelor of Architecture



Course: Bachelor of Architecture, second year class
Participants
  • 115 students
  • 6 Course Lecturers
  • Technology Steward (Thom Cochrane - CTLI)
Mobile Technology Dell Mini9 3G netbook, plus Nokia XpressMusic 5800 WiFi smartphone (or similar), participants responsible for 3G data, voice and txt costs.
Pedagogical Focus A first mlearning project for Architecture, investigating the potential of mobile web 2.0 within the course to facilitate group work and help build a 'learning community' among the 115 students. Focus is on the combined Design Studio course for 2009. Students create and share their architectural designs using photoshop and archicad creating real and virtual presentations for ‘crits’. E.g. http://www.idsketching.com/ . Investigation of location services (geotagging) and mobile code use in Architecture.
Community of Practice Weekly throughout the entire course
Support LMS Moodle
Deliverables A peer-critiqued online Blog/eportfolio documenting and showcasing students’ design processes and forming the basis of a collaborative hub with worldwide peers and potential employers/clients. Students were encouraged to experiment with the use of instant messaging, microblogging, QR Codes, and VODCasts for communication and collaboration.
Timeframe March 2009 through to July 2009 with Lecturers. Student projects begin Semester2 2009.
YouTube Links *Lecturer COP
*Introduction of project to students
*Rollout of XM5800 and netbooks to students
*Example student mobile VODCast
Blog Links *http://urd2.groups.vox.com/
*http://waitangi.groups.vox.com/
*http://archsyndicate.vox.com/
Course Project Outlines
  1. MLearning project outline

Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts



Course: Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts, third year class
Participants
  • 25 students
  • 4 Course Lecturers
  • Technology Steward (Thom Cochrane - CTLI)
Mobile Technology Dell Mini9 3G netbook plus Nokia XpressMusic 5800 WiFi smartphone, participants responsible for 3G data, voice and txt costs.
Pedagogical Focus Film and TV major students investigate the current and future uses of web 2.0 technologies in performing arts film production and distribution. Students research and report on various technologies using a weekly podcast/vodcast that is peer critiqued by students on the course. Students experiment with live video streaming and collation of video using Livestream.com. The focus is upon students developing an understanding of he importance of a quality online profile and presence in the emrging crowd-source web 2.0 environment.
Community of Practice Weekly throughout the entire course
Support LMS Moodle
Deliverables An assessed online Blog/eportfolio documenting and showcasing students' design processes and forming the basis of a collaborative hub with worldwide peers and potential employers/clients. Scripting, shooting, editing and presentation of a mobile video short film.
Timeframe March 2009 through to July 2009 with Lecturers. Student projects begin Semester2 2009.
YouTube Links *Introduction to the assessed student project *Student reflections on the use of the WMDs
Blog Links *http://unutechsy309.groups.vox.com/
*http://karenperedo.vox.com/
*http://helloagnes.vox.com/
Course Project Outlines
  1. Assessment Outline
  2. Project Workshops Outline

Example Student Feedback

Figure 13: Comparison of students’ previous technology usage 2009.

Compilations of 2008/2009 student and staff VODCasts (Online video recordings) are available on YouTube:

Implications of the Case Studies

Participatory action research (McLoughlin & Lee, 2007; Wadsworth, 1998) has proven to be a useful methodology for this research project, allowing the researcher to take on the key role of the ‘technology steward’ (Wenger, White, & Smith, 2009; Wenger, White, Smith, & Spa, 2005) to guide the projects as well as receive and act upon direct participant feedback, reflection, critique and modification throughout the length of the research. The researcher has thus created an inter-related feedback loop between all of the mlearning projects across a variety of disciplines and contexts, channeling findings and reflections between each project. Significant beneficial change has been achieved for the various participants and stakeholders involved in the research, including demonstrable transformation in pedagogical strategies and pedagogical reconception from participating lecturers, increased engagement and collaboration from participating students, and strategic input into the institutions new elearning strategy. While requiring time-intensive input from the researcher, the outcomes have been very rewarding, with the development of a sense of trust and collaboration between all the participants, and between the researcher and the course lecturers in particular. The use of an action research methodology has led to the emergence of several key connecting threads between the mlearning projects:
  • The context bridging affordances of mlearning
  • The disruptive nature of mlearning technologies
  • The importance of learning community formation among the participants
  • The importance of professional development strategies for the course lecturers

Critical Success Factors

  • The level of pedagogical integration of the technology into the course criteria and assessment.

  • Pedagogical alignment (Biggs, 2003). Scoping and planning appropriate course activities and assessments based upon the chosen pedagogical model (social constructivism).
  • The level of lecturer modelling of the pedagogical use of the tools.

  • Creating a Zone of Proximal Development (Attwell, 2006; Vygotsky, 1978)
  • Socialising the everyday use of the technology
  • Creating a supportive learning community

  • The use of regular formative feedback from both lecturers and student peers.
  • Establishing and nurturing of an intentional Community Of Practice (Langelier, 2005; Wenger, et al., 2009; Wenger, et al., 2005)
  • Supported by social networking and collaboration (Wenger, et al., 2009; Wenger, et al., 2005)
  • Appropriate choice of mobile devices and web 2.0 social software.

  • MLearning affordances must be mapped to the chosen pedagogy
  • Facilitating context bridging (via ubiquitous connectivity)
  • Socially constructed choices (fostering a sense of personal ownership leading to appropriation and integration of the technology (Bijker, 1995))
  • Technological and pedagogical support.

  • Establishment of a lecturer COP focusing upon investigating the pedagogical use of the tools and developing lecturer competency and personal appropriation of the tools
  • Establishment of a combined lecturer and student COP for implementing the mlearning project
  • The critical role of the ‘technology steward’ within the COPs
  • Allowing time for developing an ontological shift, both for the lecturers and the students.

  • Stage and scaffold the introduction of disruptive technologies to reduce students’ cognitive loads and maximize the effectiveness of the zone of proximal development.
  • Shifting lecturers from pedagogy to heutagogy – reconceptualising teaching (Luckin, et al., 2008; C. McLoughlin & M. Lee, 2008)
  • Shifting students beyond their knowledge threshold – reconceptualising learning, and using the WMDs to engage students with “troublesome knowledge” (Land, Cousin, Meyer, & Davies, 2005)

Implementation Model

The various mlearning trials undertaken have illustrated that pedagogical integration of mlearning into a course/curriculum requires a paradigm shift on behalf of the lecturers involved, and this takes significant time. Hameed (2009) describes this process as a “cultural re-alignment”. Many of the identified mlearning scenarios were serendipitous rather than planned by the lecturers. Students also require significant time to gain the skills required to maximise the potential of new and emerging web 2.0 tools – as our pre-trial surveys indicated, few students were already using these tools for their own content creation before the trial. Immersing students within a social constructivist pedagogical environment can be a new and challenging experience for the students, therefore implementation requires planned staging and scaffolding to support student learning (Cochrane, 2010)

Table 12: Example MLearning Roll-out Timeframe.

Deliverable Timeframe Outcome
Establish weekly COP with lecturers and technology steward. Establish support requirements (with IT Services and Telco) Semester 1 Staff develop competency with mlearning. Staff develop pedagogical mlearning activities based on social constructivist pedagogies
mLearning projects with staff and students. Implementation of the mlearning activities within each course and assessment. Semester 2 Increased student engagement. Flexible delivery. Facilitating social constructivist pedagogies and bridging learning contexts.
Staff publish and present case studies based on project implementation End of Semester 2 and beginning of Semester 3 Conference, Journal publications and symposia presentations
Based upon these experiences, in order to achieve an explicit move to a social constructivist learning environment using mobile web 2.0 tools, a staged, and scaffolded approach has been adopted (Table 13). This staged approach allows the bridging of the PAH (Pedagogy, Andragogy, Heutagogy) continuum (Luckin, et al., 2008), and the embedding of mobile web 2.0 affordances that support each stage. Additionally, as the life-span of mobile computing is generally shorter than that of desktop computing, a staged roll-out of WMD computing for students involved in three year long courses could be achieved to minimise the redundancy of the student-owned WMDs. Academic staff development is critical in facilitating the pedagogical focus of this roll-out.

Table 13. A staged mobile web 2.0 implementation model

Stage Web 2.0 Tools MLearning Tools Indicative Student course related costs Course PAH
Level 1 Social Collaboration with peers and lecturer. Student generated content. Use of student-owned netbook or mid-range smartphone, LMS and basic web2.0 sites Netbook $700 Internet paid access $250 1 year Certificate programmes, or first year of longer programmes Pedagogy
Level 2 Social collaboration with peers and ‘authentic environments’. Context Aware Student-owned laptop and/or mid-range smartphone Laptop cost $750 ($1500 spread over 2 years) And/or smartphone $750 Internet paid access $250 Second year of two year or longer programmes From Pedagogy to Andragogy
Level 3 Context Independent. Student generated contexts. Student-owned laptop and/or high-end smartphone Laptop cost $750 ($1500 spread over 2 years) And/or smartphone $750 Internet paid access $250 Third year of programme From Andragogy to Heutagogy

Pedagogical and Technical Support Model

Most mlearning and web 2.0 educational research has been put into the area of pedagogical integration, with relatively little focus on the aspects of technological and pedagogical support, and nothing on the significant time frames required for learning reconceptualisations (Most mlearning projects are short-term projects and do not look at the longitudinal impact of mlearning). Therefore the unique findings of this research include:
  • The matching of the unique affordances of mobile web 2.0 with social constructivist learning paradigms.
  • The explicit scaffolding of the required ontological shifts in pedagogical transformation via a structured and sustained intentional community of practice model over a significant period of time
  • The researchers role in facilitating these changes by taking on and modeling the role of the technology steward (a role that the researcher has continually developed throughout the research process) within the lecturer and student communities of practice has been essential.

The following lecturer feedback illustrates their appreciation of the researchers role:

''I can’t say enough about your contribution to our Year 3 New Technologies mobile learning project this year. You facilitated it seamlessly, laying the initial groundwork by up-skilling the staff – all the while imbuing your training with the social-constructivist applications of the gear. This provided an initial context for these new communication tools, with which the Screen Arts staff involved shall always associate and use them. Next, you rolled-out the mobile tools to the students – well in advance of the actual classes (your suggestion) - and provided hands-on training (for the 19 students) in a very caring manner. At the end of their online presentations, you debriefed them in such a way as to allow them to look inside and assess the substantial value they derived from the project. Your attentiveness to the entire process demonstrates to me a thorough practitioner who cares very much about innovative facilitation and student outcomes (PASA lecturer, 2009).''

Institutional Strategy 2010 to 2012

  • Objectives The strategy aims to achieve the following objectives: * To create authentic learning conversations that enable graduates to succeed in the 21st century * To set and maintain at least minimum standards for learning capability * To configure, implement and train staff in the use of Moodle * To support learning environments that embed academic literacies * To provide accessible environments and creative solutions for students’ access to online tools via Wireless Mobile Devices (WMDs) * To enhance wireless computing infrastructure

    The strategy focuses on three key areas (summarised wrt WMDs):

  • a) Staff Capability Developing capability through creation, implementation and monitoring of departmental plans and supporting systems to fully integrate eLearning into the new curricula. * Identifying departmental representatives to act as facilitators of change and involving them in an Etienne Wenger workshop on learning theory, communities of practice and eLearning in February 2010. Providing ongoing release time so they can support the development of departmental eLearning capability
  • b) Student Capability and Access Student access to information on utilisation of eLearning resources will be made available along with the provision of equipment required for eLearning. * Increasingly, students are expected to own WMDs and use these for class, tutorial and study sessions
  • c) Infrastructure Changes * The delivery of WMD will be led by an evaluation of benefits to determine which programmes a wireless approach will apply to and determine how the utilisation of various devices will scaffold across the years a course is delivered * Investment in wireless infrastructure will be made to improve coverage, capacity and connection speed * The sequential movement of staff computers to WMDs will be undertaken

3G Data Costs

Example Assessments

Conclusions

The unique affordances of WMDs and social software can be leveraged to disrupt traditional instructivist learning paradigms, creating opportunities for social constructivist teaching and learning across multiple contexts. Keys to mlearning sustainability are an institutional cultural and strategy shift as well as a lecturer and student ontological shift in relation to learning and teaching. Achieving this takes time and significant learning design. Establishing collaborative intentional communities of practice is one approach. The frameworks and models presented herein are beginning to achieve this at Unitec, transforming pedagogy, engaging students, and facilitating the bridging of multiple learning contexts. Planning for a staged implementation of mlearning across the years of a course that also follows pedagogical development (from Pedagogy to Heutagogy) minimizes the cognitive load required of students and the level of pedagogical reconceptualisation for lecturers, maximizing the impact on the course and the student graduates. Appropriate choice of WMDs can facilitate flexible learning spaces beyond restrictive traditional computer laboratory spaces. Course integration and authentic assessment that takes advantage of the unique affordances of WMDs is essential. Allowing students to create personalisable learning spaces and use WMDs that they personally appropriate, leads to high engagement and the potential to create interactive collaborative learning environments.

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Contact Info


Thom Cochrane BE, BD, GDHE, MTS, MComp Academic Advisor (elearning & Learning Technologies)
Unitec New Zealand
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tcochrane@unitec.ac.nz
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